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2010-08-04

Cashing it on Green Initiatives

Environment friendly initiatives have opened new avenues for entrepreneurs.

Going Green is in vogue these days! A survey conducted by Ernst and young recently, showed that companies worldwide are likely to spend 70% more to fight the adverse effects of climate change by 2012.

 

According to the survey, which had respondents from 16 countries including India, China, the US and the UK, despite regulatory uncertainty on the climate change, companies want to take action because they see environment- friendly as business issue and opportunity to generate new wealth rather than just Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The trend has paved way for new products and services.

 

Akshat Rathee’s Earth 100 produces one such product or rather service. The company provides bio-fuel powered cars to corporate clients. Not just the cars, it also provides its clients with the bio- fuel necessary to run these eco- friendly cars, trained drivers and maintenance for the special vehicles.

 

Mr Rathee, Managing Director, feels, it is difficult to take to eco-friendly ways because there is not much support system to make them sustainable. So, he decided to offer not just a product (bio -fuel efficient cars) but all the services related to it, ranging from fuel to maintenance. The big players also saw opportunity to help the green initiative of this start up. Mahindra and Mahindra agreed to supply Scorpios with Mr Rathee’s technology in it. These modified Scorpios can run both on diesel and bio-fuel for the same price.

 

The next problem that Earth 100 faced in promoting its green initiative was the non availability of enough bio-fuel. Earth 100 signed a contract with the Chhattisgarh Bio-fuel Development Authority (CBDA) for bio-fuel. Now they could together produce bio-fuel based on Jatropha which results in zero carbon monoxide (CO), zero sulphur dioxide and 78% less carbon di -oxide emission. Recently, it has also signed a contract with Essar Oil for the same. The company which started rolling 100% eco- friendly Scorpios in 2008, has investors like Jindal Power Limited.

 

Another interesting company that encourages green initiatives is Bamboo House India, a social venture – set up by two First Generation Entrepreneurs, Aruna Kappagantula and Prashant Lingam in the year 2008, aspires to use and promote bamboo and its products for eco- friendly characteristics. They prefer bamboo as an alternative to wood, steel, iron & plastic in the country.

 

Their key products are primarily - 1) Bamboo Furniture (Natural, Hand crafted, eco friendly- bamboo furniture as an alternate to wood, steel, iron, and plastic) and 2) Bamboo Housing Strictures (Cost effective, natural, and eco -friendly housing structures solution  for rural housing, eco-tourism centers, resorts, pent houses, hotels, coffee shops, forest guest houses etc.).

 

As per planning commission , projected Indian market size of bamboo furniture is Rs.3625 Crore and housing structures is Rs.1163 Crore 2015. “We have learnt that market potential of bamboo based products is estimated at Rs.26,000/- Crores and it can help more than 5 million of our population cross the poverty line and bamboo can also help minimize CO2 gases and generates up to 35% more oxygen then equivalent stand of trees,” says Mr. Prashant Lingam, Co-founder, Bamboo House India.

 

It can be aptly said that entrepreneurs are driven by passion and earning money is a bi-product of that passion. 

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